Pandemic Food Benefits For OR Kids To Be Issued Starting Thursday

Jul 20, 2021

Oregon children who missed out on free or reduced-price meals at school - because of the pandemic -will soon be receiving food benefits in the mail. 

Oregon DHS will begin issuing food benefits to children who qualified for free or reduced price meals but missed getting them at school due to the pandemic.
Credit Oregon Department of Human Services

There are two ways children will receive the Pandemic-EBT card. If a child’s household currently participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP—the additional benefits will be deposited into that account.

Otherwise, eligible families will receive a card by mail to the address on file with the school. Jake Sunderland is with the Oregon Department of Human Services. He said starting this week, families should keep an eye out for mail from South Dakota.

The PEBT card looks different from the Oregon Trails EBT card. It will be mailed from a South Dakota address so families are advised keep an eye out for them. It's money for food.
Credit Oregon Department of Human Services

“Open it up," he said. "The P-EBT card looks different than the usual Oregon Trail EBT card. So when you see this unfamiliar card from the South Dakota address, it is legitimate. It is money for food for your student.”

Jake Sunderland is spokesperson for Oregon DHS. He urges eligible  families to watch for mail with a South Dakota return address. Pandemic EBT cards will probably be in the envelope.
Credit Jake Sunderland

Sunderland said about $497 million dollars will be distributed to 450,000 students in Oregon. Benefits will be issued in July, August and September. 

If you are expecting P-EBT and have not received the benefits by August 15, contact ODHS by emailing  ebt.schoolmeals@dhsoha.state.or.us or by calling 503-945-6481.

ODHS and Oregon Department of Education share responsibility in ensuring that children across Oregon receive P-EBT food benefits. ODE collaborates with school districts across Oregon to determine eligibility and ODHS issues the benefits on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered, and families are encouraged to continue participating in grab-n-go-meals or emergency food programs at their local schools and community locations.